Ad HominemAttacking an opponent’s character instead of their argument.
Appeal to AuthorityReferencing an expert or institution in order to try to give your message authority and status.
Appeal to Common SenseSuggesting that your position is obvious to everyone with any common sense.
Appeal to IgnoranceArguing that something is true because it can’t be proven untrue.
Appeal to PatriotismSuggesting that disagreeing with a policy means that you are against your country.
Apples & OrangesComparing things that aren’t comparable.
Association FallacyAssociating two things that aren’t actually associated. For example, associating opposition to government policy with a conspiracy theory in order to discredit criticism.
Bait and SwitchSelling ideas with a rational argument that anyone could accept but then attaching controversial positions to this acceptance.
Black-and-White ThinkingNeglect of nuance and grey areas.
Card StackingPresenting only one side of a contentious argument, a hallmark of media or journalism that is propaganda.
DemagogueryArousing the prejudices of the masses.
DemonizationPortraying the other side as fundamentally bad.
DisinformationSpreading false information.
DoublespeakLanguage that avoids the true meaning of a concept.
Dumbing DownPresenting complex situations in overly simplistic ways.
EuphemismUsing mild words in a way that has harsh meaning.
ExaggerationMagnifying the truth to the point that it becomes untrue.
False AnalogyInvalid comparisons that are designed to mislead.
False DichotomyPretending there are only two choices when in fact there are many. For example, “you are either with us or against us.”
False EquivalencePretending that two things are the same when they are very different.
False RelatabilityFaking the mannerisms of the working class or middle class when you are in fact a member of an elite and don’t normally speak in this way.
FearmongeringCreating fear to have people accept things they wouldn’t otherwise accept.
Glittering GeneralitiesPositive but vague slogans.
Guilt by AssociationAssociating someone with a negative stereotype or membership in order to attack their character.
Hasty GeneralizationDrawing conclusions based on limited evidence.
If-By-WhiskeyTaking both sides of a controversial issue.
LabelingApplying negative labels to the positions of the opposition.
Loaded LanguageLanguage designed to invoke stereotypes or an emotional response.
Loaded QuestionA question that contains an unjustified assumption or accusation. If you answer the question, it looks as if you have accepted the assumption.
Lying by OmissionLeaving out important facts that completely change a story.
MisdirectionDistracting people from big issues by using trivial issues that are nonetheless contentious.
Misleading StatisticsInvalid data or invalid interpretations of valid data.
Moral PanicExaggerated fear and concern over an issue. This may be leveraged or created by propaganda.
Not Even WrongA completely illogical argument that is difficult to refute.
ObfuscationTrying to confuse the facts.
Passive DeceptionNot revealing facts that are completely relevant because they don’t support your case.
RationalizationFinding logical excuses for something that is unacceptable.
Red HerringAn unrelated argument designed to distract.
ReificationTreating an abstract concept as if it were a concrete and unambiguous thing.
RepetitionRepeating messages over and over again in hopes that people will internalize them.
ScapegoatingBlaming some group for all problems.
Slippery SlopeArguing that some small step will produce a landslide of change.
Slippery WordsUsing language that implies things without saying them directly. A form of passive aggressive speech.
Straw Man ArgumentAttacking an argument that your opponent never made.
Thought-terminating ClicheUsing cliche truisms in place of thought.
Useful IdiotA person who spreads propaganda that is against their own best interests.
Virtue SignalingHollow support for popular causes designed to impress others.
Weasel WordsUsing an anonymous authority such as “science”, “the experts agree” or “everyone knows” without any actual evidence.
WhataboutismLazily suggesting that a wrong is fine because something else is also wrong.
Whispering CampaignSpreading rumors.
|Definition||A manipulative attempt to influence a large audience.|